Originally Posted by TopGunner
Being an elk hunter in the Bitterroots of Montana for all of my life I have been blessed to take many elk. I have raised my children on the best of organic wild meat and shot placement really does make a difference in how much meat makes it to the freezer. A couple of blood shot front quarters can cost you a bit in time to clean it up and also loss due to being blood shot. If you shoot it too high against the back bone you can ruin a bit a back strap, which will cost you some mighty fine steaks.
When you get right down to it, you take the shot you can get. Elk always appear when you least expect it and you may be shooting in poor light, a long distance, the animal may be standing turned toward or away from you or there might be brush covering the ideal shot placement. The best shot is the one you can make. We do try to operate on the one shot one kill theory. Filling a dieing critter full of holes just to make it drop is not always the best action. An elk with a through and through hole in its lungs can travel a long ways if chased, but if you take a break from the chase and just sit down and be quiet for 20 or 30 min, more often than not you will find the elk either dead or dying within 100 yards of where you made the kill shot. Get the shot right and take out the heart and the critter just will not go far at all.
This last year, I was out hunting elk with my 16 year old son. We were walking up a steep ridge, myself in the lead, when we spooked a group of elk that were bedded down in the brush to our left. The elk broke but being uncertain of our positions crossed the trail up-hill from us about 50 yards. I asked my son if he was going to shoot one as I fell to the ground so as not to obstruct his shot with the back of my head. As one stopped to look down toward us I heard the 30-06 blast over my head. "Did you get it? Did you get it?" I shouted over the ringing in my ears. I don't know dad....I just had a moment to shoot and all I could see was the neck and head. We walked up the trail and found the elk dead and bleeding out from the shot through the neck at the base of the skull. The practice on the range at close distances paid off and the boy filled the freezer for another season.
Very well put! I don't know how many elk I've seen that needed just a couple more seconds, they are wobbling and the oil pressure is crashing and then someone whips another one at it, it's like it kicks em into high gear. Also been standing there waiting for the second shot while they top the ridge
I used to cut game professionally and the average loss of meat to a solid front shoulder shot is 16 lbs per quarter hit on and average MT elk which dresses 250 lbs on the rail, the last one I weighted was hit 3 times in the front end with a 7mag with zero penetration and it cost close to 40 lbs. That a lot of hamburger meat, or one good batch of Salami